Tips Tricks & a Recipe – BLACK BEANS

Today’s focus is on BLACK BEANS

High in magnesium, iron, potassium and folate, black beans are also off the hook sources of protein and fiber. Eating black beans will help lower your overall cholesterol, especially the LDL levels (the bad cholesterol). And this bean is known for its antioxidant prowess as well as its ability to moderate insulin resistence. Who knew?

Here’s a TIP:
If you’re buying canned black beans and are concerned about sodium, check out the organic canned bean brands. Generally, they have much less sodium in them then conventional brands.

Here’s today’s TRICK:
Cold soak your beans overnight rather than do the quick soak method. This draws off less of the folate and other water-soluble nutrients. After you’ve soaked your beans, you can freeze them and then you’ll have presoaked beans always on hand!

And your RECIPE:
Mexican Casserole

Serves 6

8 ounces penne or mostaccioli, uncooked
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 (27 1/2 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce, your favorite
1 (14 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup water
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained
1/2 (.75 oz.) package reduced sodium taco seasoning mix (if available or use regular
1/2 cup low fat Monterey Jack cheese (2 oz.)

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

In a skillet, brown your beef and drain well, blotting with paper towels to pick up the extra grease. Meanwhile, in large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil; add onion and red pepper.

Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender. Add cooked beef to onion/pepper mixture, mixing well.

Add remaining ingredients except cheese; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Toss hot pasta and one-half sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over top; sprinkle with cheese.

Per Serving: 326 Calories; 14g Fat; 14g Protein; 58g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 3mg Cholesterol; 994mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

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